Today, Senator David Feeney addressed the Papua New Guinea: Securing a Prosperous Future Conference at Deakin University, Waterfront Campus in Geelong.
The two day conference has provided a forum for researchers and practitioners from universities, business, government and civil society to share knowledge and contribute to policy on the country that is Australia’s closest neighbour.
Senator Feeney’s keynote address on domestic and regional security challenges focused on strength of the PNG – Australian partnership and how both nations can address the security challenges of this century.
“The security relationship between PNG and Australia was forged during World War II. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the critical campaigns in PNG – including the Kokoda campaign. We are reminded by these anniversaries not only of the example of courage and sacrifice that Papua New Guineans set at that time, but also of the strength of our friendship.”
“Since World War II our Defence relationship has developed and matured to the point that our two nations are natural partners and firm friends,” Senator Feeney said.
“Today, through the Defence Cooperation Program and bilateral exercises, the Australian Defence Force works in a cooperative way to address the challenges faced by the PNG Defence Force. This strengthens our relationship and institutions and in turn security is enhanced,” said the Senator.
Senator Feeney’s contribution to the conference comes at a time when events in PNG are watched more closely than ever.
“As Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, it is clear to me that a secure and prosperous PNG is essential for the security and growth of our region. As Australians, we want to see our friends and partners realise their full economic, political and civil potential,” Senator Feeney said.
The conference is hosted by the Alfred Deakin Research Institute under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Local Member for Corio the Hon. Richard Marles.
A link to the transcript of the speech can be found at: http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/2012/04/13/6918/
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